Tirana, the heart and capital of Albania, like all other European metropolises has a never-ending movement and energy. With its clubs, pubs, cafes, and taverns, Tirana is worth discovering by both day and night. The value and hospitality shown towards tourists is something that will mark your journey not only in Tirana but also all over the country. There are different thoughts regarding the origin of the name of the city. Some think that it relates to Tyrrenia (a name of Etruscan origins), while others believe that it relates to the word Theranda (harvest), or to the Tirkan (a castle at the foot of Mount Dajti).
Your own journey might begin by visiting the museums and the key spots such as Sheshi Skënderbej, where you will be able to see the Mosque of Et’hem Bey (built between 1798 and 1812) and the 35 m high Kulla e Sahatit (the Watch Tower), built-in 1822 with a San Marco style cupola. Next, you can visit the famous Mosaic uncovered on the floor of an old Roman lodge. Its centre configures the walls of the castle of the Roman emperor Justinian (A.D. 520). The monumental Tomb of Kapllan Pasha and the Ura e Tabakëve (a bridge constructed in the beginning of the 19th century, located on Bulevardi Zhan D’Ark) are other interesting places to visit. As a capital, Tirana has the country’s finest museums, theatres, and galleries representing the national arts.
A visit to the National History Museum, the Archeological Museum, the private “Mezuraj Museum,” and the National Gallery of the Arts will leave wonderful memories. You can also pass a pleasant evening at the National Theatre or the Opera and Ballet Theatre. For dining, Tirana will be glad to offer you both a rich traditional cuisine and a variety of foreign fares, from Italian to Chinese. There are also several clubs and restaurants in Mount Dajti to discover and enjoy. There is the possibility to travel there by cable car, which is a very special experience. In the region of Tirana, you may also visit the castles of Petrela and Preza, as well as some natural attractions, such as Pëllumbasi Cave, Shkalla e Tujanit, and much more.
Tirana is relatively new. Sulejman Pashë Bargjini a feudal lord from the region constructed the first building in 1614. In the place where today is the monument of “The Unknown Soldier,” he built a mosque, a hammam, and a stove, which at the time were the main institutions of a newborn city. In 1816, the Toptani family came to rule the city. The most important date in Tirana’s history is February 11th, 1920, when the Lushnja Congress declared Tirana the provisional capital of Albania; definitive status would be given in 1925. Following this act, the city has experienced constant growth, which continues today and has gained particular momentum since 1990.
Famous Italian architects made the centre of Tirana their project during the early parts of the 20th century. The main boulevard in Tirana, Bulevardi Dëshmorët e Kombit, was built in 1930, while the central square, Skanderbeg Square, was built between 1928 and 1929. In 1968, on the 500th anniversary of his death, national hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg had a monument inaugurated in Skanderbeg Square. Twenty years afterwards, in the square was added the monument of the dictator Enver Hoxha. Shortly after on the 20 February 1991 the students and the people oust it from the
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Tirane, Albania|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive by 8:15 AM for a prompt departure at 8:30 AM.|
|RETURN TIME||Approximately 6:30 PM.|
|WEAR||Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen.|
8.30 AM – 11.00 AM: Transportation
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